Recently I have seen a lot of people complaining on Facebook that they have lost their contacts and stuff from phone..for whatever reason it may be. But if you keep a proper backup of your contacts then you need not worry about recollecting all those lost contacts. The best of all techniques is to keep Phonebook.. A real Book with all your important contacts that cannot be deleted by an accidental phone format or a corrupt OS.
Well, I decided to make an article which will list steps and apps to backup all your Contacts, SMS, Phone Logs and Files on every popular Mobile OS which I could recollect at the moment. I hope this will encourage you to keep proper backups of your contacts and files.
I would be writing the steps and apps for these Mobile Operating Systems at the moment and you can add your requests via the comments for any other OS and I will try adding them.
- Apple iOS
- Windows Phone 8
- Windows Phone 7 / 7.5
- Symbian S40
- Symbian S60
Now to begin the backup..
If you have setup a Google Account with your Android device and turned on Sync then probably its syncing your Contacts to your Google account. You can access them by Logging in to your Gmail account and clicking the Contacts tab.
But here we will be backing up your : Contacts, SMS, Call Logs, Apps.
For Contacts you can use the Google Account Sync and export your contacts from the Google Contacts or you can use the ‘My Backup’ app which is a 30 Days trial of ‘My Backup Pro’. You can safely use the app to export your contacts. It also provides you with options to export Call Logs.
- Download My Backup from [Google Play Store].
Another App for Call Logs is Call Logs Backup & Restore which exports your Call Logs but not Contacts.
- Download Call Logs Backup & Restore from [Google Play Store].
For SMS you can use SMS Backup & Restore app by the same developer as of Call Logs Backup & Restore. I find this app better than My Backup’s SMS backup feature because this retains the Timestamps of the SMS correctly whereas My Backup doesn’t retain them while restoring. Atleast it didn’t work well for me.
- Download SMS Backup & Restore from [Google Play Store].
If your Android is Rooted, Then you can also export Apps + the App Data such as High Scores of Games etc. For rooted android’s a must have application is Titanium Backup which will do the above said task easily.
- Download Titanium Backup from [Google Play Store].
For Un-Rooted android’s you can only export the APK file of the app. For this ES File Explorer is the app you should use.
- Download ES File Explorer from [Google Play Store].
2. Apple iOS.
In Apple iOS you can use iTunes or iCloud syncing just like Google Account Syncing in Android. In iOS 5 and above you can use iCloud service by Apple to sync multiple iDevices. You can also use Apps or Email export to backup contacts.
Backing up using iTunes.
- Connect your iOS device to a computer with the latest version of iTunes installed.
- Click the File menu and select Devices > Backup.
You can use the Restore from Backup option to restore your backups.
Backing up using iCloud.
- Connect your iPhone via Wifi.
- Open Settings > iCloud.
- Toggle all the stuffs to ON that you want to backup.
- Select the Storage & Backup from the bottom of the interface.
- Toggle iCloud Backup to ON. Then click on Backup Now.
You can access your iCloud backups by logging in at iCloud.com.
Backup Contacts via App.
You can use the My Contacts Backup app from iTunes to backup your contacts to a VCF file or CSV file. Also send it as an EMail Attachment.
- Download My Contacts Backup app from [iTunes].
On a Jailbroken iPhone, You can backup various databases such as SMS database, Call log database via a File Explorer or SSH. We will use a Free File Explorer for Windows and Mac to export your database.
- Download iFunbox from [iFunBox].
These are the locations for different stuffs on an iPhone.
iPhone SMS Location (Text Messages, iMessages)
iPhone Photos and Video Recordings Location
iPhone Contacts/Address Book Location
iPhone Notes Location
iPhone Call History Location
iPhone Voicemail Location
iPhone Mail Location
iPhone Calendar Location
To start copying the Databases,
- Install iFunBox and connect your device and access the above locations.
- Copy the database file for backup.
- To restore just paste this file back to the original location.
3. Windows Phone 8.
As you might have guessed, Cloud is everywhere now and Windows phone also backs up your contents to the cloud with the help of Microsoft Live Account.
With the inbuilt backup option in Windows Phone 8 you can pretty much backup everything right away to the Microsoft Account. With the inbuilt backup setting you can backup your Internet Explorer Favourites, List of installed apps, Theme and accent configuration, Call history, App settings, Test messages and MMS, Photos and Videos. Your contacts are automatically backed up when you setup your Live Account.
To initiate a backup,
- Head to Settings > System > Backup.
- Turn ON Backup for the stuffs you want to have backup of, Such as ‘App list + Settings’, ‘Text Messages’ and ‘Photos’.
In case of Apps, The original App data is not saved. Only the list of apps are saved which when restored will redownload all the apps in the list when connected to Internet.
The Photos and Videos upload setting have options where you can choose your Internet connection mode and the appropriate data will be uploaded such as choosing the Data Plan will upload ‘Good Quality’ images and Wifi will upload the RAW ‘Best Quality’ image. In case of Videos you need to have Wifi to upload it.
- You can access your Contacts at Live/People/Outlook/Hotmail Contacts.
- You can access your Photos and Videos at Skydrive.
To export your Contacts as CSV you can Click on Manage > Export after logging into Live Contacts aka People.
Also you can export your Contacts to Email directly using the Contacts Backup app.
- Download Contacts Backup from here [Windows Phone App Store].
4. Windows Phone 7 / 7.5.
[The content below is mostly same for Windows Phone 7.5 as well as WP 7]
Same as Windows Phone 7 your Contacts and Calendar gets synced to your Live Account. Unlike Windows Phone 8, WP 7 Doesn’t give you SMS and App list backup options right out of the box. Also there is a bit of Technical know-how required to implement it as far as I know. The excellent developers at XDA have developed several tools to fight this challenge and I suggest you visit those threads directly and read more about it as they are constantly being updated and you can ask the developers straight away for your doubts.
- Checkout the WP7 Easy Backup Tool [Thread].
- Checkout the SMSBackup V0.9 [Thread].
5. Symbian S40.
First of all there quite a controversy as to whether S40 belongs to Symbian class. But for the sake of this Tutorial lets call it Symbian S40. The primary device which uses this Operating System is the mighty Nokia. Most of Nokia’s mid-range phones carry this OS at heart and there a tons of users wanting help with this OS.
Backing up your Contacts, SMS, Bookmarks, Calendar is quite straightforward in Nokia S40 devices. You are presented with an option straight away.
- Make sure you have an SD Card inserted and then proceed.
- Open Settings > Sync and Backup.
- Tick the stuffs you want to backup and hit the backup button.
- It will take some time depending on the amount of Contacts,SMS etc.
Once it is finished check your SD Card for a backup folder inside which you will have a .NBF file which is the backup file.
Another way to go about it is to use the Nokia PC Suite.
- Download Nokia PC Suite from [Nokia].
- Connect your Nokia Device to the PC, Open up Nokia PC Suite and go through the device setup.
- Click on the Backup Icon in PC Suite.
- Select the stuffs you want to backup and click the Next Arrow.
- Select the location to save the backup and Click next.
You can also Sync your Contacts,SMS and Calendar with the Nokia PC Suite by using the Sync icon in the PC Suite.
6. Symbian S60.
Symbian S60 is more of a Smart Phone kind of Operating System and is featured on above mid-range mobile phones. Similar to S40 you can use Nokia PC Suite to Sync your Contacts,SMS and Calendar to PC.
Although not tested personally but you can Backup your Call Log and SMS with this Application called ‘Message Mirror’.
- Download Message Mirror from [Getjar].
You can also manually export S60 Contacts by:
- Open Contacts > Options > Mark/Unmark > Mark All.
- Option > Copy Business Card > To other Memory.
- Select your SD Card.
- For any prompts such as over writing, Select Yes.
- After the Copying is complete, Connect your Phone to the PC via USB and select Mass Storage mode to access the SD Card on PC.
- Open the SD Card > Others > Contacts folder and Select all the .VCF files and copy it to your Desktop or other location.
Tip : You will have different VCF file for each contact, In order to have a single file you can use the simple Batch File. Create a .Bat file in the same location as the VCF and open it with Notepad. Paste the following code in it: copy *.vcf merged.vcf now save the file and double click the .Bat file to get a merged.VCF file with all your contacts.
Will be adding more Mobile Operating Systems.. To be continued..
I hope this article has helped you in backing up important stuff from your Mobile Phone. Share this article with your friends on Facebook and Twitter to let them know about Backups.